International Working Group on External Debt Statistics
This issue of Finance & Development examines the good and bad sides of globalization. Sebastian Mallaby notes that after decades of increasing cross-border movements of capital, goods, and people, only migration continues apace. Capital flows have collapsed, and trade has stagnated. However, rather than a sign of retreat, trade and finance may be resetting to a more sustainable level consistent with continued globalization. IMF Chief Economist Maurice Obstfeld takes a closer look at trade. Ismaila Dieng profiles Leonard Wantchekon, a former activist who plans to train the next generation of African economists. Wantchekon, now a professor at Princeton University, is one of the few African economists teaching at a top US university. His research, which has received considerable attention from development economists, focuses on the political and historical roots of economic development in Africa.
For three days in August, Rutgers University Professor Michael Bordo and a group of noted academics provided senior officials from 30 countries and a number of IMF staff with a historical context for the often contentious issue of globalization. Sponsored by the IMF Institute, “Globalization in Historical Perspective” reprised an earlier National Bureau of Economic Research conference. The seminar focused, in particular, on the forces unleashed in the nineteenth century and the ensuing backlash and looked for insights into today’s policy debates.
This Selected Issues paper examines the effect of political instability on economic growth in Nepal. It uses publicly available data on political economy variables for 167 countries worldwide from 1970–2004 to estimate the impact of political instability on growth. The findings reveal that Nepal has witnessed higher political instability compared with other countries in the region. The paper also presents the salient features of political instability and growth for Nepal and other South Asian countries, and the econometric estimates of growth regressions to measure the effect of political instability on economic growth.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
With colleague Aart Kraay (who is on leave teaching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), David Dollar has written several papers on globalization and poverty reduction. Prakash Loungani speaks with Dollar, a researcher in the World Bank’s Development Research Group, about their findings. The two papers cited are available on the World Bank’s website at www.worldbank.org/research/growth.